Thursday, December 13, 2012

Must Have Educational Christmas Apps

If you are looking for educational apps for the classroom and at home you should join the Facebook group iTeach.AppsfortheClassroom .  All throughout the day sales and freebies for educational i Phone and iPad Apps are posted.

The iteachappsfortheclassrom blog also contains lots of great recommendations including this list of must have educational Christmas apps, in which Kids Christmas Pattern Game is included!  Check them out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kids Christmas Pattern Game

Now on the App Store, Google PlayNook Apps (TM), and Amazon Apps

Free Educational Christmas Kids Pattern Game for Android
Free Educational Christmas Kids Pattern Game for Nook Free Educational Christmas Kids Pattern Game for Kindle

Solve sequence and pattern puzzles to help practice foundational math skills in this educational math game.

WHO: For kids ages 4 and up. Some of the harder patterns may even stump some adults.

WHAT: 30 beginner ABAB patterns (ages 4 - 7), 30 intermediate level sequence and pattern puzzles including counting puzzles (ages 5 - 8), 30 advanced sequences and patterns (10+)

WHERE: Santa is traveling all over the world--England, France, Italy, Egypt, India, Antartica, Russia, Mexico, USA and the North Pole. This app provides some exposure to world geography with flags and famous landmarks.

WHY: Recognizing, analyzing and solving pattern and sequence puzzles promotes foundational skills for math, literacy and science.

This app provides practice for children in:
-Recognizing patterns and sequences.
-Recognizing differences in color.
-Recognizing differences in size.
-Practice counting by 1's, 2's, 5's, and 10's.
-Exposure to world geography with country flags and landmarks.

Parental Disclosure:
- This app does not collect any personal identifiable information.
- There are links to the Corvid Apps website and to Corvid Apps products.
- There are no third party ads.
- There are no in-app purchases, the app is fully functional upon purchase.
- View our privacy policy at for more information.

Other Apps in This Series:

Kids Pattern Recongition - Beginner (Preschool and Kindergarten) : Kids math game with ABAB and ABCABC patterns

Kids Sequences, Counting and Patterns (Kindergarten and First Grade): Kids math game to help practice 1's, 2's, 3's, 5's and 10's.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

ChorePad Facebook Party

ChorePad is hosting a Facebook party meaning free codes for apps from an assortment of developers will be appearing all day starting at 9:00AM EST.

I have two contests going on.  See if you get lucky and can grab a free code right now for Sequences, Counting and Patterns, or at 9:30AM PST for Kids Pattern Recognition.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kids Sequences, Patterns and Counting Math App is Available

Observing, comparing and categorizing are foundational skills for math, science and literacy.  In this game kids practice counting by 1's, 2's, 3's, 5's and 10's as well as puzzling the solution to various patterns and sequences that change in size and shape.

On App Store (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) Google PlayNook Apps (TM),  Amazon Apps and coming soon to Nabi.

Kids Pattern Recognition - Beginner (Preschool and Kindergarten) - Corvid Apps

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What's going on

We raised $29.30 for Hurricane Sandy. I wish it had been more, but thank you to everyone who bought apps during those two days.

In other news, Apple, suddenly and without warning, changed its policy and no longer allows me to use a DBA (doing-business-as) name in the App Store, so if you are looking for Corvid Apps in the App Store you will not find it. Search instead for Laura Bangerter. I'm not sure when, if ever, I will get around to converting my business from a sole proprietorship to a corporation. :S

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Today and Tomorrow All Proceeds Will Go to Hurricane Sandy

I have teamed up with a group of other indie app developers to fundraise money for Hurricane Sandy relief.  All the proceeds from both my apps, on all platforms, sold on November 8th-9th, 2012 will go to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy.    View the special Jellybean Tunes App Report for a list of all the other apps and developers participating in this fundraiser.

Learn To Read on Google Play

Kids Pattern Recognition on Google Play

Kids Pattern Recognition for iPhone, iPad, and iPad touch

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kids Sequences, Counting and Patterns - A Math App For Kids

On App Store (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch), Google PlayNook Apps (TM),  Amazon and coming soon to Nabi.

This is a kid's math game. Complete the sequence puzzles to work through the levels to free the good monster aliens that were kidnapped by the bad monster aliens.

WHO: For kids ages 5-8.

WHAT:  Help the hero complete the sequences or patterns to save the monsters that were kidnapped.  This game has 126 puzzles.  The game includes ACABC patterns, patterns for counting by 1's 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's and puzzles puzzles to figure out which one is missing in a range of pictures that increase or decrease in size.

WHERE: In outer space.

WHY: Recognizing and analyzing patterns and sequences is a foundational skill for math, literacy and science.

This app provides practice for children in:
-Recognizing patterns and sequences.
-Recognizing differences in color.
-Recognizing differences in size.
-Practice in counting by 1's, 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's.

Other Apps in This Series:
Kids Pattern Recongition - Beginner (Preschool and Kindergarten) : Kids math game with ABAB and ABCABC patterns

Watch the demo video

Friday, October 12, 2012

Overcoming my Cultural Biases Against Apple

Seattle is a tech area.  There are a plethora of developers.  It is the home of big names like Microsoft, Amazon, and Nintendo. Google and Facebook have some offices here as well.  But Apple is king of the app world and Apple doesn't have a presence in the area.

It isn't like people in Seattle don’t use Apple products, it is just that programmers in the area don’t use Apple products.  I started to notice that I have a deep cultural bias that makes it hard for me to be an iOS app developer. 

Windows has been fed to me since I was a small child.  I received scholarships and free software from Microsoft as a college student.   My boss at my first job was a Microsoft groomed developer and I received lots of training and knowledge from him.  I don’t think of myself as a Microsoft devotee, but it is what I am used to.  

Me as a young girl playing Tetris on a PC running M.S. DOS
I feel like I am late to the app game.  When Apple first advertising, “There is an app for that,” I didn't really understand why you would want apps on a phone.  I didn't have any curiosity about the app store because I dismissed it as an Apple thing.

When the iPad was released I decided it was a device I wanted.  I wanted to be able to read ebooks and blogs from the couch. Yet I cringed at the price, and deep down I felt a bit traitorous in wanting one.  I lucked out and Barnes and Noble came out with the Nook Color. It was cheaper than an iPad and it wasn't Apple. 

Once I had a mobile device, apps started making sense, and I wrote my first Android app. Android is Google and Amazon.  I could get on board with that.  

The kid's app market is mature on iOS, but isn't on Android.  Most of the kid's app developers I have met online sell only on iOS, they use a Mac for all of their development, they have an iPhone and an iPad, and they don’t live in Seattle.  Not one.1 It seemed so odd to me.  Where were all the Seattle developers?2 

The final wake up call, that Seattle isn't the place to be an iOS developer, and that there is a cultural bias at work, is when my friend was able to hook me up with a free Windows Phone.  Perfect!  I have a device to test on so I can release my apps in the Windows app store-- a market often mocked as desolate and thus pointless to target.  

It is said that identifying the problem is the first step to resolving it.  Maybe now that I recognize my aversion to Apple, I can get over it and embrace the platform…  while I work on Android and Windows as well. 
1 I did find a group in Vancouver, CA so I guess that is kind of close, though in a different country.
2 There are plenty of Seattle Android developers, but since so few Android developers target kids I have yet to find any in the area.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Folio Academy Videos Teach You to Draw

The cheapest way to get things done is to do it myself.  Each app I make I have to weigh the costs and benefits of doing it myself, or finding someone else to help me out.  There are many wonderful creators on the internet who provide free licensing of images and music through the Creative Commons License, or provide very reasonably priced assets.   I have used vector graphics found at and sounds from

Graphics are a struggle for me.  They are arguably the most important aspect of an app, especially a children’s app.  Beautiful graphics equal a great app.  Unfortunately as a startup I don’t have a budget to hire a graphic artist.  I can afford a small amount to purchase some vector art, but don’t have the funds to get real quality artwork.  There is a bit of a chicken and egg problem here, because maybe I won’t sell as many apps due to poor artwork.  If I was a hopeless artist I think I would be more willing to fork out some money, but I can passably reproduce some art.  I recognize that I am not a professional artist, but I think to an uncritical eye what I make is passable.

Like everything, I feel like if I practiced and trained myself I could get better.  That is where comes in.  I read Will Terry’s blog and enjoy his writing style, his drawings, and his willingness to share his knowledge.  For writing this piece I will receive a free video lesson.  I'm always intrigued about learning via the internet and this is a wonderful opportunity to see if I can get some quality instruction via a video.  

Now if I can just create a time warp.  I will have enough time to work on my drawing skills, writing skills, marketing skills, game design skill, and then the apps I create will be the most amazing ever! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kids Educational Game Design

Behind the Scenes and Thoughts on Game Play for Kids Pattern Recognition

Kids Pattern Recognition is a math game for kids where the objective is to find the missing element in a pattern.  There are 120 ABAB and ABCABC patterns.  The difficulty level is about right for most four and five year old children.

I decided on doing a pattern app because I believe that strong math skills later in life come from a really good foundation of practical number sense and logic.  Recognizing, identifying and creating patterns are the basis of practically all learning, not just math. Human brains are always categorizing, and looking for similarities and differences in all we see and do.  Recognizing patterns in unusual places is a large part of what drives innovation and creativity.

A book I read called The Talent Code, talks about how deliberate practice strengthens the connections in the brain.  Mastery of a skill is developed by doing something over and over and over.  In doing so your body creates a substance called myelin that line the pathways for the skill in your brain and makes the skill easier, faster, and remembered. 

Drilling is a common teaching technique to obtain mastery, yet two aspects of repetitive practice are hard to overcome.  The first being attention span, the second being efficiency.  While drilling might be the best way to develop a skill it can become boring.  It is easier to spend a little bit of time to get good enough, then a lot of time to master a skill.   A computer game is ideal for drilling because you can provide the psychological challenge and reward system of a game to avoid boredom, along with a lot of problems in a short amount of time. 

Every good game has a narrative.  The story for Kids Pattern Recognition is that three bad aliens, a leader and two minions, kidnap a bunch of cute alien monsters.  The hero takes his rocket ship into space to rescue the cute aliens and lock up the bad aliens.  He travels to three galaxies that have approximately thirteen planets each.  There are only kidnapped aliens on a few of the planets.  Many educational games use an excessive amount of praise for rewards (ie “good job”, “you are smart”, etc).  While it seems innocuous, many psychologists and educational experts say excessive praise can back fire and make the child feel less interested and less accomplished.  In Kids Pattern Recognition the reward is moving to the next planet and getting closer to rescuing a cute alien.  The kidnapped aliens are placed intermittently to avoid diluting the accomplishment of a rescue.  At the end of each galaxy is where a bad guy is confronted. First you have to capture the minions, and in the final galaxy you get the leader.  The game play changes slightly in these levels to add a twist to the challenge. 

In the regular levels you must solve three patterns without making more than four mistakes.  In the final level of each galaxy you have to solve an unknown number of patterns before the time runs out.  By imposing limits in the game play, the child has to focus on the patterns and not just touch the screen randomly to get the correct answer. 

I am new at game making, and was unsure if the techniques I was using were executed well enough.  My daughter loved the game, but it was hard to tell if she liked it because I made it, or because she is just enthusiastic about everything.  Beta testing also seemed favorable and now that the app is live feedback has been really positive.  Kids in the target age group are engaged in the game and enjoy playing it repeatedly. Hopefully they are gaining good foundational experience in comparing, contrasting, and observing, as well.

What's Next:
There will be two or three more games of increasing difficulty added to this story line.

Purchase Kids Pattern Recognition from the following app markets:

Kids Pattern Recognition - Beginner (Preschool and Kindergarten) - Corvid Apps

Five free copies will be given away for iPhone/iPad in a giveaway contest for App Friday at 7:30am PST

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Discover Educational Android Apps For Kids

Sometimes finding a wide variety of kids apps for Android devices can be hard.  Many apps do not offer a whole lot, or are buggy and do not work well.  Searching for them can be challenging when you have to wade through all the irrelevant choices.  I've compiled some links here that can help parents find those hidden gems.  Remember to rate any apps you like.  Positive ratings are what drive sales, which keep the developers developing.  :)


Kids love stories and there are a lot of story book apps for Android.  A good list of reviewed story books for Android can be found at Digital Storytime, and good app reviews can be found at Smart Apps for Android.


Amazon has nice designated sections of kids apps organized into various categories.  Developers choose the categories and amazon reviews those designations, so you can be fairly confident there aren't spam apps.
Barnes & Noble recently redid their children's section and have good categorization as well.  You can only access the Barnes & Noble app store from a Nook Color or Tablet, but it is likely that many of the apps can be found on Google Play as well.  Searching for the developers name versus the app name will usually result in better results.  

All Children

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Kids Pattern Recognition is Available!

It is now available on On Nook Apps (TM),  Amazon, Google Play and iOS (iPad, iPhone and iTouch).

If you like it please take the time to rate it. App ratings drive sales and are a huge marketing favor to me.    

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kids Pattern Recognition - Beginner Has Been Submitted

I submitted the app to Apple and Amazon a few days ago.  Pending approval it should be available in the next week or so.  It is already live on Nook and will be released on Google Play as soon as it is live on Apple and Amazon.  Check out some screenshots to see what it is all about.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kids Pattern Recognition - Beginner

On App Store (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)Nook Apps (TM),  Amazon, Google Play and Nabi.

This is a kid's math game. Complete the pattern recognition puzzles to work through the levels to free the good monster aliens that were kidnapped by the bad monster aliens.

WHO: For kids ages 4-7.

WHAT:  Help the hero complete the patterns and save the monsters that were kidnapped.  This game has 120 ABAB and ABCABC patterns to solve in order to beat the game.  Some patterns are picture based and some are number based.  Patterns may alternate in color, size, shape, or value.

WHERE: In outer space.

WHY: Recognizing and analyzing patterns and sequences is a foundational skill for both math and literacy.

This app provides practice for children in:
-Recognizing patterns and sequences.
-Recognizing differences in color.
-Recognizing differences in size.
-Recognizing numbers.

Read about some of the thoughts that went into designing the game.
Watch the demo video